Hulu Adds More Dubbed Episodes of the Fruits Basket Reboot Anime

The Fandom Post is reporting that Hulu has added more dubbed episodes of the Fruits Basket reboot anime to its lineup. The site now has all of the dubbed episodes of the first season, as well as the first 13 episodes of the second season.

The new series has Yoshihide Ibata directing based on the series composition by Taku Kishimoto. Masaru Shindo is handling the character designs with TMS Entertainment handling the production.

The English cast includes:

  • Laura Bailey is Tohru Honda
  • Eric Vale is Yuki Soma
  • Jerry Jewel is Kyo Soma
  • John Burgmeier is Shigure Soma
  • Tia Ballard is Kagura Soma
  • Mikaela Krantz is Momiji Soma
  • Justin Cook is Hatsuharu Soma
  • Kent Williams is Hatori Soma
  • Elizabeth Maxwell is Arisa Uotani
  • Colleen Clinkenbeard is Akito Soma
  • Christopher R. Sabat is Ayame Soma
  • Jad Saxton is Saki Hanajima

Source: The Fandom Post

FUNimation Entertainment Announces January 2021 Releases

FUNimation Entertainment has announced the January 2021 releases for Aniplex of America, Crunchyroll, and FUNimation.

Aniplex of America

  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Part 2 (Blu-ray) – 325 minutes – $64.98 – 1/19/21

Crunchyroll

  • Conception: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) (Essentials) – 300 minutes – $29.98 – 1/5/21
    Special Features: Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • Chain Chronicle – The Light of Haecceitas -: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) (Essentials) – 565 minutes – $34.98 – 1/12/21
    Includes Episodes 1–12 and Movies 1–3
    Special Features: Chain Crown-icle!, Chain Chronicle Academy, Promo Videos, and Textless Opening and Ending Songs
  • Nanbaka: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) (Essentials) – 650 minutes – $34.98 – 1/5/21

FUNimation Entertainment

  • Case File nº221: Kabukicho Part 2 (Blu-ray) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 1/26/21
    Includes Episodes 13-24 and OVA
    Special Features: TV Broadcast End Card Gallery, Character Promotional Videos, Web Previews, Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • Dragon Ball Z: Season 6 Collection (Blu-ray SteelBook) – 685 minutes – $59.98 – 1/19/21
    4:3 aspect ratio
    Episodes 166–194
    Special Features: Inside Dragon Ball Z: Interviews with Eric Vale and Cynthia Cranz, Dragon Ball Z Trivia
  • Dragon Ball Z: Season 7 Collection (Blu-ray SteelBook) – 565 minutes – $59.98 – 1/19/21
    4:3 aspect ratio
    Episodes 195–219
    Special Features: Inside Dragon Ball Z: Interviews with Justin Cook and Nathanael Harrison, Dragon Ball Z Card Game: Past, Present, and Future, Textless Opening and Ending Songs
  • Fruits Basket: Season 2 Part 1 (Blu-ray/DVD LE) – 325 minutes – $84.98 – 1/12/21
    Episodes 26–38
    Includes Exclusive Replicas of the Snake and Horse Zodiac Figurines from Shigure’s home, as seen in the show, a high-quality Rigid Box designed to fit all five Blu-ray releases, and 3 Art Cards
    Special Features: Season 2 FunCon Panel, Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • Fruits Basket: Season 2 Part 1 (Blu-ray/DVD) – 325 minutes – $44.98 – 1/12/21
    Episodes 26–38
    Special Features: Season 2 FunCon Panel, Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • Meiji Tokyo Renka: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) (Essentials) – 300 minutes – $29.98 – 1/12/21
  • No Guns Life: Season 1 Collection (Blu-ray) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 1/26/21
    Includes 2 art cards (while supplies last)
    Special Features: Promo Videos, Commercials, Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • One Piece: Season 10 Voyage 4 – 350 minutes – $39.98 – 1/5/21
    Episodes 615–628
    Special Features: Specially Commissioned Cover Art, Textless Opening Song “HANDS UP!,” and Punk Hazard Arc Behind the Scenes
  • Sorcerous Stabber Orphen: Season 1 Collection (Blu-ray) – 350 minutes – $64.98 – 1/26/21
    Includes Episodes 1–14
  • Star Blazers 2202: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) – 650 minutes – $69.98 – 1/5/21
    Special Features: Episode Commentaries, Interview with Ken Meseroll & Christopher Wekhamp, Textless Opening and Ending Songs, Special Theatrical Trailer, and Star Blazers: Space Battleship 2202: Conversation with the Cast

Anime Spotlight: Fruits Basket Season 2

Fruits Basket Season 2 picks up the reboot of the Fruits Basket anime left off. This season was produced by TMS/8PAN and was directed by Yoshihide Ibata. The episodes of the second season of the Fruits Basket reboot aired on Japanese television from April 6-September 21, 2020. As of this writing, both Crunchyroll and FUNimation hold the North American rights for the series.

The second season of the reboot picks up where the first season left off. The very first episode of the season has a story that ultimately puts Motoko and the others in the Prince Yuki fan club more in the background than they had been in the first season. Motoko ultimately realizes that she hates herself as well as any girls that get close to Yuki. Even while having this epiphany, she insists that she won’t give up on Yuki. Considering how much more serious the story gets over the course of the second season, it’s not surprising that the members of the Prince Yuki fan club become background characters to bring on the occasional comic relief during scenes at school.

The next few episodes provide some very important character development for Yuki, Kyo, Ayame, and Hatsuharu. Early in the season, the final member of the Zodiac, Kureno Soma, is introduced. He meets Arisa, and their meetings and interaction end up playing an important role right near the end of the season. In Episode 5 of the season, the viewer has no idea how much of an impact these two characters meeting would have on the plot later in the series.

A lot of the first cour of Fruits Basket Season 2 takes place at the Soma beach house. A lot happens during the episodes at the beach house, such as Tohru meeting Rin Soma, Tohru and Kyo starting to become closer, Akito’s interactions with the Zodiac members, and Yuki starting to face his fears toward Akito. While Kyo realizes that he’s in love with Tohru, he won’t try to make her his own. Instead, he plans to stay by her side until Akito imprisons him for the rest of his life. But as we see in the second cour, Tohru starts realizing that she has feelings for Kyo, but can’t bring herself to say anything to him.

The big incident at the beach house, which takes place near the end of the first cour, is Akito confronting Tohru. Akito tells Tohru about the futures for Kyo and the other Somas with the curse, and this makes Tohru realize there’s something different about Akito. Akito confirms her suspicions, while at the same time, scratching Tohru’s face. Oh, and during this scene, Tohru officially meets Kureno. Akito had intended this confrontation to chase Tohru away… instead, it had the opposite effect. Tohru becomes determined to break the curse, and this is an important plot point that follows through the rest of Fruits Basket Season 2.

Shortly after the trip to the beach house, Kagura has an epiphany about her feelings toward Kyo. She realizes that she’s not truly “in love” with him, which now removes her from potentially getting in between Kyo and Tohru.  Like with Motoko and the Prince Yuki Fan Club, Kagura needed to be relegated more to the background with the tonal shift that the series experiences during the second season.

There’s also important character development for Mayuko, the main characters’ teacher at school. It was good to see the relationships between Mayuko, Shigure, and Hattori, and I appreciated having an episode that didn’t focus on the main characters and gave Mayuko the chance to become more of a character than simply “the school teacher.”

The second cour focuses on Yuki becoming part of the student council and getting to know the other members. Kakeru and Machi both become important characters in their own right, with Kakeru becoming an unexpected friend and foil to Yuki. When we first meet Kakeru, he annoys Yuki like crazy and it seems unlikely they would ever get along. But, as the second cour progresses, as Yuki gets to know Kakeru more, he realizes they have more in common than they realized. And near the end of the second cour, when Yuki comes to realize how he truly feels about Tohru, Machi becomes someone that Yuki starts to notice more. Right near the end of the second cour, Machi starts to slowly come out of her shell. Yuki also gets some strong character development in the second cour, especially when it comes to finding the strength to start standing up for himself to both his mother and to Akito.

After Tohru hears Arisa talking about a guy she met named Kureno, who she keeps hoping she’ll see again, she thinks she might be talking about Kureno Soma. She decides to sneak into the Soma compound to try to find him. When she does, she meets Momiji’s little sister, Momo, who helps her sneak in. This is a wonderful episode that provides a moving story for Momiji, as well as Tohru finding Kureno and determining this is the same Kureno that Arisa met. Like I said earlier in this piece, Arisa and Kureno’s connection is important, especially after the school play “It’s Cinderella-ish.” Arisa, as the prince, blurts out that she wants to see someone again. Tohru and Momiji, knowing exactly who Arisa is referring to, make a DVD copy of the performance that Momiji recorded. Momiji gets the copy to Kureno, and this leads to Kureno meeting with Tohru and dropping a couple of major bombshells that serve as a cliffhanger for the season.

That was the perfect way to end Fruits Basket Season 2. The revelation about Akito made the perfect “hook” to make viewers want to come back and watch the next season. The next (and final) season is supposed to premiere sometime in 2021, and I can’t wait. I’ve loved this reboot of the Fruits Basket anime, and I’m happy to finally see more of the manga finally being adapted for anime. The premiere for the final season of Fruits Basket can’t come soon enough.

Fruits Basket Season 2: Episode 25 – “I’m Different Now”

This episode is set at some point after New Years, but before graduation for the main cast. This is made clear to the audience early on in the episode, when Arisa comments on being at the school for graduation practice. This leads into Tohru having a flashback to New Years, where she learns that Yuki stood up to Akito and that Momiji successfully delivered the DBD of the “It’s Cinderella-ish” performance to Kureno.

After this, the episode has a strong focus on Kureno, the most mysterious member of the Soma clan. He finally watches the DVD, and this scene is actually quite powerful. You can see that he is actually capable of showing emotions, especially once Arisa on the screen and makes her declaration of wanting to see Kureno again. For a brief moment, it seems like he’s moved enough by her words to do something about it… but then, an image of a younger, tearful Akito begging him not to go snaps him out of it.

Kureno tries to call Tohru at Shigure’s house, but Shigure answers the phone because it’s his house and Tohru is still at school. Earlier in the episode, it was hinted that there’s something about Kureno that bothers Shigure, and the audience can hear this in the tone of voice Shigure uses and by something Shigure is hinting at while talking with Kureno.

But after this call, we see that Kureno decides to leave the Soma estate on his own in order to talk with Tohru. Akito finds out Kureno has left without permission and throws a major fuss. But during his talk with Tohru, it’s revealed that Kureno’s zodiac link with Akito suddenly broke a few years earlier, and he has no idea how it happened. But because of how distraught Akito became when this bond broke, Kureno stays by Akito’s side and pretends to still have the curse around the other zodiac members. This particular revelation does help the viewer to start understand some of Akito’s behavior when it comes to the zodiac members. Having already lost one member in this manner, Akito is afraid of losing the others.

Even though Kureno stays by Akito’s side out of wanting to protect Akito, it’s very clear in the scene with Tohru that he’s conflicted. It’s obvious that he’s in love with Arisa and wants to see her again, but that he feels he can’t leave Akito’s side. But if you thought the revelation about Kureno’s curse being broken was the biggest bombshell in this episode, you would be wrong. Right at the end of the episode, Tohru learns something very important about Akito. I’m not going to say it here, though, in order to avoid providing a spoiler. But this revelation is a big bombshell that will make the viewer rethink what they thought they knew about Akito.

This episode was incredible, and it was the perfect way to end the season. And making the revelation about Akito being the last thing the viewer sees at the end of the episode made the perfect “hook” to make viewers want to come back for the next season. Even though I’ve already read the manga and knew that these revelations were coming, I was happy to finally see them animated. And I think the anime did a great job portraying these revelations, as well as Kureno’s internal struggle of his obligation to Akito and his desire to be with Arisa.

I definitely can’t wait until the final season debuts in 2021. But looking at the fact that we had these two big revelations, and the fact that the main characters’ graduation from high school is being hinted at, I’m guessing the final season isn’t going to run for 25 episodes. I’m guessing it’s going to be a shorter season with either 12 or 13 episodes. But it’s going to be hard to wait until whenever it is in 2021 that the final season of Fruits Basket will premiere. This episode was so powerful that I want to see more now.

The Third Season of the Fruits Basket Anime to Premiere in 2021

FUNimation Entertainment has announced that the third season of the Fruits Basket anime will premiere in 2021. According to FUNimation’s report, this information comes from a special graphic celebrating the finale of Fruits Basket Season 2.

Looking at the image that’s posted on FUNimation’s announcement, the third season will be titled, Fruits Basket The Final. So, the questions that remain are: 1) When in 2021 is this season going to premiere? and 2) Will this final season run for one cour or for two cours?

But I’m still excited to know that at some point next year, there will be a third season of the Fruits Basket anime.

Source: FUNimation Entertainment

Fruits Basket Season 2: Episode 24 – “Here You Are”

This episode can easily be split into two parts. The first part focuses on Machi, and we finally get some character development for her. While Kakeru gave us some brief insight into their family dynamics, this episode gives us the opportunity to see what kind of relationship Machi has with her mother. We find out its thanks to Machi’s mother pushing her to succeed and be better than Kakeru that turned her into the void and empty shell that she now feels that she is.

But among this, we also see insight into Machi’s impressions of Yuki. This really explains her comments in recent episodes about how she feels that he isn’t a prince. But in this first half, we get a great scene between Machi and Yuki… and this scene shows Machi actually expressing some emotion, thanks to something that Yuki does. It was great to see Machi being more than just the quiet and moody girl that she’s been portrayed as up to this point, and I think this will mark the beginning of Yuki helping to bring Machi out of her shell.

The second half of the episode focuses on the Sohma’s annual New Year’s banquet. Yuki surprises Shigure when he says he’ll go to the banquet, albeit for a short time. This year, though, arrangements have been made for Tohru and Kyo to stay with Shisho. It turns out Rin is also there, and Rin isn’t entirely happy to see Tohru is there as well (since Shisho hadn’t said anything).

But the most important things happen at the actual banquet, with one of the most important scenes taking place between Akito and Yuki. Akito becomes enraged at something Yuki says, and causes a scene. Fortunately, Yuki isn’t badly hurt. But thanks to this injury, Yuki is able to talk with Hattori and apologize for the time that Hattori had to erase Yuki’s friends’ memories. I love Hattori’s reaction to this, and the interaction between these two characters. In the beginning, Yuki disliked Hattori and didn’t trust him, and it was nice to truly see that wall come down between them. The best line here was Hattori telling Yuki not to become like Ayame.

But during the scene with Akito and Yuki, we see Kureno actually getting involved and pulling Akito away from Yuki. The most important thing with Kureno, though, happens near the end when Momiji gives him a burned DVD of the play as “a gift from Tohru.” Written on the disc, it specifically instructs Kureno to watch it when he’s alone. So the seed has been planted for Kureno to see Uotani’s line in the play and whatever may result from that.

But it really hit me during the New Year’s banquet portion just how much time has been covered in the series up to this point. Yes, we saw the school aged characters move up a year in school, but even hearing that the new year was coming up really hit home the time span covered in the series up to this point. And then it hit me just how much some of these characters have really evolved during the time frame that’s been covered in the series up to this point.

I believe next week’s episode will be the last episode of Season 2, and I’m genuinely interested to see what kind of a note this season will end on.

Fruits Basket Another Manga “Tentatively” Ends With 13th Chapter

Manga creator Natsuki Takaya has announced on her Twitter account that the current “Chapter 13” of the Fruits Basket Another manga is “tentatively” the last chapter of the manga. She clarified that she currently has no plans to write a story from the point of view of the “adults and parents” in the story, even though she acknowledged jokingly that writing the story from the point of view of the parents probably would have been easier.

“Chapter 13” (continuing the numbering of the manga) was previously scheduled for April 2020, but debuted on Hakusensha’s Manga Park website and app on April 20, 2020, with its first part (the chapter now has three parts which are all available on the site).

Takaya had originally ended the Fruits Basket Another manga in December 2018 but expressed plans to draw one-shots for the manga afterward. Takaya launched the manga on the free “HanaLaLa online” website in September 2015, but it moved to Manga Park in August 2017 along with the other HanaLaLa online manga. Yen Press is publishing the sequel manga, and is also publishing it simultaneously on digital, alongside the Fruits Basket: The Three Musketeers Arc spin-off manga.

Source: ANN

Fruits Basket Season 2: Episode 23 – “It’s Cinderella-ish”

Yes! I finally got to see the part of the manga that I’ve been wanting to see animated for years… the school festival play. “It’s Cinderella-ish” worked as beautifully in animation as I thought it would. It elicited quite a few chuckles. But among the humor, there was something very important that happens in the dialogue at the end of the play between Tohru and Kyo. And this interaction surfaces for Kyo a couple more times during the episode, and we even see this affect Tohru right at the end of the episode. By the end of the episode, it’s clear that Tohru and Kyo like each other, but they can’t let themselves believe that the other reciprocates their feelings.

Another important plot point involves Yuki and Machi. Yuki comes across three girls bullying Machi because she says that Yuki isn’t a prince. Yuki wants to intervene, but Kakeru stops him. Kakeru leaves to cook up a scheme to save Machi, and Yuki gets to overhear a couple of things from Machi. While he doesn’t entirely like the first thing she says, the other two things she says about him makes both Yuki and the audience realize that she is somehow able to see through the image that Yuki projects and has figured out a little bit of what he’s really like. This dramatic moment is disrupted when Kakeru’s plan is put into motion, but this scene seems to be adding weight to the idea of a Yuki and Machi pairing.

We also get a scene of Hiro losing his temper with Haru, and letting something slip that he shouldn’t have. At least Hiro recognizes that he screwed up, even though he won’t say it out loud. But poor Kisa gets the wrong idea from a remark that Haru makes to Hiro in response to the younger Soma’s outburst. Poor Kisa.

Another worthy scene to mention is when Shisho shows up backstage, and talks with Hanajima with Kyo standing nearby. Kyo’s reactions were very humorous.

All in all, though, this was a great episode. The early part of the episode focused on the play, so it was able to start with some humor. While there’s some drama that takes place throughout the rest of the episode, there’s just enough comedic elements infused into these scenes that they don’t feel like such a contrast to the light-hearted play that opened the episode.

It sounds like this cour of the second season of Fruits Basket will be the last until some point in the future when they continue the series, with what I assume would be considered Season 3. If this is true, it’s a little disappointing that Fruits Basket will be coming to a temporary end, and that I’ll have to wait a while to see more. I truly enjoy watching Fruits Basket every week.

Fruits Basket Season 2: Episode 22 – “That Isn’t What I Want”

The first part of the episode sees Yuki finishing up his discussion with Kakeru. Kakeru thinks it’s kind of strange that Yuki would look at someone his age as a mother, and throws out a couple of scenarios concerning romantic love that would explain Yuki’s thought processes. But Yuki says that no, he really does think of her as a mother, and explains his reasons why. The two of them get into a hilarious argument that includes kicking a soccer ball. The humor is broken up with Kimi showing up and punching Kakeru in the gut. This scene is a great example of the combination of drama and humor that appears in the episode.

Meanwhile, at the Soma house, Tohru realizes just how many lines she has for the upcoming play and is panicking about memorizing them all. She’s talking with Shigure, who discovers while looking at the script that Kyo is the prince. Let’s just say he ends up laughing nearly as much as he did when he and Yuki discovered Tohru living in the tent at the beginning of the first season. Kyo comes home just then, and he confiscates the script. Kyo tries flirting with Tohru using the script, but Yuki comes home at that point, and Kyo is embarrassed. Tohru gets called away for a boiling over pot, and Yuki takes the opportunity to goad Kyo. Yuki tells him that Tohru now has the hat that Kyo abandoned with Yuki when they were kids because he didn’t want it anymore after Yuki touched it. As we see in Yuki’s thoughts, he’s trying to encourage Kyo to make some progress with building a relationship with Tohru because he wants her to be happy. But between this scene and a scene we see later in the episode, I wonder if Yuki’s goading about the hat was really the right thing to do. Sure, we get a sweet scene between Tohru and Kyo near the end of the episode, but was it really worth making Kyo sulk like he did over the hat?

The rehearsals for Cinderella are not going well. Kyo refuses to show up, and Tohru just can’t play an evil person, no matter how hard she tries. The student who wrote the script wonders if the play was miscast, and ends up deciding to rewrite it, especially due to all the trouble Tohru is having. Tohru also asks for the prince’s part to be rewritten, because then maybe Kyo would actually show up to rehearsals. We see at the end of the episode that the rewrite is done, but the audience doesn’t know anything about what the rewrite contains.

Among all the drama involved around the play and around Yuki and Kyo, we also get an amusing scene with Ayame and Mine at the school, since Ayame is going to be making the costumes for the play. The class’ reaction when they learn that Ayame is Yuki’s older brother is priceless. And Mine gets to shine in this scene as well. It was a great way to relieve some of the tension of the drama that’s going on at the same time.

We also get to see a scene of Yuki, Machi, and some girl from Machi’s class. When Machi declares to the classmate that there’s nothing prince-like about Yuki, he looks surprised at her reaction. But there also seemed to be a little more to his reaction than that, though.

Seeing the title for the next episode, I think next week will finally be the week that I’ll get to see the part of the manga that I’ve been wanting to see animated for years. I can’t wait. 🙂

Fruits Basket Season 2: Episode 21 – “There Was, Definitely”

I think I just watched one of the best flashback episodes in anime ever. Damn, this was just so powerful.

This flashback focuses on Yuki, as he’s the one remembering events from his childhood. While we’ve been bits and pieces of this story throughout the series up to this point, we finally got to see everything about Yuki’s time with Akito. It truly sheds a light on why Yuki is the way that he is, and you realize just how much growth he really has undergone as a character throughout this series. We see some of Yuki’s early encounters with Kyo, the lead up to the incident where Yuki’s friends’ memories were erased when his secret was accidentally revealed, as well as the time he led a young Tohru home. And we also get to see the whole story behind the hat.

A lot of this episode, though, has quite a dark tone to it. Considering the events that happened, as well as Yuki’s outlook on that point in his life, this dark tone makes a lot of sense. But it gets heartbreaking when at one point, when Yuki was sickly, that he felt as if he should just disappear completely. Between Akito’s cruel words and actions, as well as his lack of friends and lack of love from his parents, it’s not surprising that he would feel that way. When he runs away from the Soma compound with no real idea of where he’s going, he happens upon Kyoko Honda, who is worried sick about her missing daughter. Yuki remembers passing by a young girl who was crying, and pieces together that this must be the missing girl. By helping Tohru, Yuki realized that someone in this world did indeed need him, which was the opposite of the hurtful things that Akito kept pounding into Yuki’s brain.

Right at the end, we return to the present and see Yuki and Kakeru where we saw them at the end of the previous episode. It’s made clear here that Yuki was thinking about his past, and is now just starting to open up to Kakeru about it and about his feelings for Tohru. Yuki’s final line in this episode makes it very clear the kind of feelings Yuki has for her. And the fact that Yuki is opening to Kakeru this way shows just how much more Yuki understands the guy and realizes they kind of have some similarities.

I nearly cried by the end of Yuki’s flashback, because it was that powerful and that well-written. If you haven’t seen this episode yet, you might want a hanky nearby, just in case. But among the darkness, though, we did get to see younger versions of several of the main cast, and they simply looked adorable.

This reboot of Fruits Basket continues to deliver each week, and I’m always eagerly awaiting the next episode. From what I’m reading, it looks like we only have a few more episodes left before this season ends. But from what I remember from the manga, there should be enough for another season (even if it’s a shorter one) of the anime. In which case, I’m interested in seeing how this season will end, and what note it will end on to leave viewers wanting to come back for another season.